I’m going to share with you some of the missing wisdom I wish I had known as a new mother!

When I was pregnant with my baby, I was so excited to meet her. I wished away my pregnancy, counting down the weeks and months to when I could meet our little one!

I thought a lot about the mother I wanted to be for our baby. I wanted more than anything to be a good mum.

I was worried I was too selfish….or that I wouldn’t cope and I questioned myself daily.

I didn’t know anything about babies. I think I had changed 1 nappy in my life! In fact, I really didn’t really like other people’s kids…. so how was I even going to manage with this tiny new little baby oh my own with no experience? 

Here are some of the challenges I faced as a new mother and how you can set yourself up for a peaceful postpartum!

I didn’t know anything about babies

When our newborn girl was born I didn’t know anything.  My husband had to leave at night and it was just me left in the hospital with this new baby (after an unplanned c-section!)

I barely knew how to hold her, let alone breastfeed her. She cried all night long…I didn’t get much sleep. When my husband turned up in the morning we had a massive argument. (Which was unlike us). I was horrified…what had happened? Had this baby ruined our lives?

When we got home I struggled to latch my baby and we had an unsettled night. My boobs were bloodied and bruised. I was exhausted…so was my husband… and my baby was starving… we knew we needed to get help…and the health nurse was on her way “sometime that day”.

I said I would wait another 30 minutes before we would go to the closest health nurse clinic (which was 20 minutes away). Finally, the health nurse arrived as we were getting packed to head out. It was a midwife from the hospital who I had never met before. She rushed into the house and started barking her orders….she sent my hubby out for formula and started boiling bottles on the stove. 

Which wasn’t our plan, my plan was to breastfeed!  My milk hadn’t even come in at this point and she spent no time helping me latch my baby or even trying to solve our breastfeeding challenges. 

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Breastfeeding is natural but doesn’t always come naturally

I felt like a terrible mother. I felt like a failure. I had no idea what I was doing, but I followed the health nurses instructions.  After all who was I to question an experienced health nurse? (so I thought). 

My milk came in that night….and I didn’t have a clue how to breastfeed…and my confidence was shot… I was in a lot of pain….so I sent hubby out for a breast pump and I exclusively pumped for 6 weeks. (even giving my baby a bottle of red milk from my bloodied sore boobs) Yes – it almost made me vomit.  But it’s perfectly safe!

Then I was tired of pumping after 6 long weeks! It was hard work and took up a lot of time…and I hated cleaning bottles.

So I gave breastfeeding a try. My baby was used to bottles…and was a “lazy feeder”. She would suckle for about 2 mins while the let down was happening and then she would scream…so I supplemented with formula.

I sought help from a health nurse and GP…I did the best I could with what I knew…. and at 6 months my milk was almost completely gone. I was distraught. I enjoyed breastfeeding…but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get my supply back.  The damage was done, and my breastfeeding journey came to an end (sooner than I wanted).

A Postpartum Plan would have made all the difference

The truth is as a first time mum who didn’t prepare for my postpartum period I had no idea what I was in for. I just expected I would figure it out….and we did figure it out….but it was a hard road.

There were many tears…..exhaustion….arguments….overwhelm…isolation….and confusion and many regrets.  Even to this day, I wish I had educated and informed myself on some things.  Especially breastfeeding. 

This is just one of the challenges we faced in our postpartum period but is something that really stuck with me as I was determined to breastfeed. 

I felt like a failure that I didn’t reach my goal.  I had no one around me who was breastfeeding to learn from and see how it was done.  Most of my friends didn’t breastfeed, and I did the best I could with what I had. 

After training to be a Postpartum Doula I have learnt many tools and resources to guide new mothers through to have a peaceful postpartum.  I have created a free postpartum plan to support expectant mothers to start thinking and planning for their postpartum!

You can download yours now (Totally free!) 

Set yourself up for a peaceful postpartum

If you are pregnant, or a new mum and find you could do with a bit of support and guidance during this time here are some tips:

  • Visit a local mothers group and make friendships.  Playgroup, check out your local library for events.
  • Join our online Facebook Group
  • Connect with “friends” on your Facebook page who are mothers and parents.  Send them a message and build a friendship
  • Meet and greet your neighbours.  Knowing the person next door makes life easier, you can pop over if you are emotionally or physically struggling and need a break.

If I could go back and change it all now, I would prepare myself for my postpartum – which is why I’m sharing this information with you now!! 

You don’t know, what you don’t know right?

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